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Letcher's Mason Moody moves up bull riding leaderboard with 86 at Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo

“I am sure when they say your name and Letcher, South Dakota, they all went nuts,” Mason Moody said. “But you don’t even notice it. It’s business as you go in and so you block it out and you go for it.”

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Letcher's Mason Moody scored an 86 to capture the high-point ride in the bull riding at Friday's Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo at Horseman's Sports Arena. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

Mason Moody redeemed himself on Friday.

The Letcher bull rider was bucked off during Thursday’s Xtreme Bulls Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event at Horseman’s Sports Arena.

The Sanborn Central senior-to-be put it behind him and scored the high-point ride (86) in the bull riding in front of family and friends at the same venue.

But despite the heavy turnout of familiar faces, Moody had a job to do and he accomplished it during the 50th annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo.

Local, non-local bull riders rave about Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo “I grew up coming here to this bull riding and the stands are always packed and it’s a great atmosphere,” Avon's Jeff Bertus said. “It’s just a lot of fun coming here.”

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“I am sure when they say your name and Letcher, South Dakota, they all went nuts,” Moody said. “But you don’t even notice it. It’s business as you go in and so you block it out and you go for it.”

He edged Nixa, Missouri’s Gavin Michael, who scored an 84, for the first-night lead. Despite not scoring on Thursday, Moody didn’t dwell on it and said he focused on Friday’s ride.

“We take every win the same,” the even-keeled Moody said. “Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow we head out for high school nationals (in Lincoln, Neb.). So you have to look at it as just another bull riding.”

After the high school finals, Moody will ride in Kansas and Iowa as his busy summer continues.

Sanborn Central senior-to-be Mason Moody earns Professional Bull Riders card The Letcher bull rider turned 18 years old -- the required age for PBR membership -- on April 3 and one day later, he purchased his tour card. Soon after, he competed in his first PBR event on May 21-22 in Sioux City, Iowa, continuing his dream of becoming a professional bull rider.

“It’s a blast,” Moody said. “You are living your dream. Some nights like last night you get mad and shrug it off. You go to the next day and hope it works out.”

Another young cowboy, Clay Jorgensen, continued to learn on the fly on Friday.

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Max, North Dakota's Ben Kramer rides the bareback horse Up Town Fade on Friday during the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo at Horseman's Sports Arena. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

The Watford City, North Dakota, cowboy scored the high-point ride in the bareback riding at the rodeo.

Not only was it Jorgensen’s first appearance at the rodeo, it’s also his rookie season on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tour. He said he’s competed in 17 rodeos in the past 17 or 18 days.

“It’s been very up and down,” Jorgensen said. “I started the year out really well and kind of slowed down there for a while and throughout this Fourth of July run, it’s been pretty hit or miss. I will have a good ride and I will get bucked off. So I am kind of learning this year.”

On Friday, Jorgensen’s third time riding the Sutton Rodeo Company horse, Knobs, was the charm. Jorgensen bucked off the previous two times on the bareback horse, but conquered him on Friday for an 81.

“It’s a really great stud of Sutton’s,” Jorgensen said. “He really gets stronger as the ride goes along and there’s a minute there in the middle I thought I wasn’t going to get it, but I just kind of gritted my teeth and got back underneath and was able to get by him. It was a handful.”

The Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo continues on Saturday.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo

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Horseman’s Sports Arena

Friday’s results

Bareback riding: 81: Clay Jorgensen, Watford City, North Dakota; 76: Nick Pelke, Mondovi, Wisconsin; 73: Ty Blessing, De Soto, Kansas; 71.5: Briar Dittmer, Runnells, Iowa.

Steer wrestling: :4.5: Jeff Miller, Blue Mound, Kan.; :4.8: Jake Fulton, Valentine, Neb.; :5.0: Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb.; :5.2: Tucker Alberts, Howell, Mich.; :5.6: Jake Johnson, Bagleton, Kan. :5.6: Ty Standley, Marshalltown, Iowa, :5.7: Kyle Eike, Glenham, Ill.; 5.8: Slick Pickerill, Fremont, Iowa, :5.8.

Saddle bronc riding: 81: Jeremy Meeks, Scenic; 81: Talon Ross Elshere, Hereford; 81: Briar Dittmer, Runnells, Iowa; 80: J.J. Elshere, Hereford; 76: Carter Elshere, Elm Springs; 75: Triston Eklund, Valentine, Neb.; 70: Preston Kafka, Wagner.

Tie-down roping: :8.7: Austin Hurlburt, North Fork, Neb.; :9.9: Jason Schaffer, Brodus, Mont.; :10.0: Cole Bailey, Okmulgee, Okla.; :11.2: Jess Woodward, Dupree, :12.4: Jason Vohs, Dickinson, N.D.; :13.3: Lane Jeffrey, Wilburton, Okla.; :15.0: Chance Oftedahl, Pemberton, Minn.

Team roping: :5.1: Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Oklahoma/Logan Medlin, Tatum, New Mexico; :5.6: Jon Peterson, Belle Fourche/Riley Curuchet, Kaycee, Wyo.; :5.7: Tucker McDaniel, Midland/Clint Cobb, Red Owl; :5.8: Jade Schmidt, Box Elder/Jade Nelson, Midland; :6.4: Dalton Turner, Sidney, Arkansas/Garrett Smith, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.; :6.8: Lane Goebel, Marshall, Minn./Cole Stevens, Hammond, Wis.; 9.9: Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla.; 11.4: Braden Conner Brost, Canada/Darryl Rogan Brost, Canada; :12.5: Mitch Barney, Blair, Neb./Riley Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb.

Barrel racing: :15.32: Sadie Wolaver, Weatherford, Okla.; :15.33: BryAnna Haluptzok, Ten Strike, Minn.; :15.39: Austyn Tobey, Bemidji, Minn.; :15.40: Amy Brunson, New Underwood; :15.43: Shannon Jensen, Lawton, Iowa; :15.49: D'Ann Gehlsen, Mission; :15.53: Sara Winkelman, Big Lake, Minn.; :15.55: Summer Kosel, Glenham; :15.56: Lakken Bice, Killdeer, North Dakota; :15.61: Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan.; :15.61: Jeannie McKee, Lenapeh, Okla.; :15.62: Nicole Bice, Killdeer, North Dakota.

Bull riding: 86: Mason Moody, Letcher; 84: Gavin Michael, Nixa, Mo.; 80.5: Casey Fredericks, Porcupine; 78: Gage Gay, Mandaree, N.D.

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Wall's Wynn Schaack competes in the steer wrestling on Friday at the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo at Horseman's Sports Arena. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

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